Authorities in Deer Park are investigating a suspected DUI crash that claimed the young life of a 17-year-old girl returning home from school on Monday.
Victim Marissa Burke was on her way home from Deer Park High School with her sister when a pickup veered into the sidewalk and hit her.
55-year-old Leland Benfrank Smith was identified as the driver of the pickup truck that lost control, crashed into a light pole, and then into the girl.
The teen fought for her life at Memorial Hermann Hospital since Monday’s crash. Her death sparked grief and shock throughout the community as they prayed for a miracle before she was removed from life support.
“The family all came together to see her one last time and made the decision to remove all the life-sustaining machinery and let her pass naturally. Her passing was very peaceful and quick.” Burke’s family said in a statement.
“Marissa was a beautiful young lady with a wonderful sense of humor, was always full of life and love for her friends and family.”
Smith, who failed a sobriety test at the scene of the crash and was arrested on intoxication assault, faces additional charges following Burke’s death.